A woman saw a pregnant Mary wandering the streets and took her in. She told Mary to go to Aberdeen Women’s Centre for prenatal care...

Eighteen-year-old Mary Sesay was living with her older sister in Aberdeen when she became pregnant. Soon after she learned this she was told to leave her home because the space was too small for both mother and child. At this point, the father of her unborn baby became emotionally and physically abusive to Mary. Now Mary had no home and no partner to help her raise her child. A woman saw a pregnant Mary wandering the streets and took her in. She told Mary to go to Aberdeen Women’s Centre for prenatal care and while there Mary was approached by Hagar Olu-Jones.

Hagar is one of the instructors for AWC’s Dream Girls Programme -where girls are taught sewing, crocheting, tailoring, and health education- and actively recruits girls for the programme by meeting with pregnant teens who register in the maternity unit. Mary joined the Dream Girls programme and loved making friends and learning new skills in the class every week. Hagar noticed that Mary was a fast learner and told her about AWC’s Hostel Girls’ Programme, where she had the opportunity to learn skills like catering, hospitality, and housekeeping. Mary took Hagar’s advice and joined the program.

Since joining, Mary has been a shining example to the other girls in the programme. She works very hard and is one of the best cooks in the programme. Her dream is to work in the hospitality industry and make enough money to give her daughter Elvira, a quality education.

“My favourite things to make are pancakes and puff cakes. I love catering and cooking, and hope to work in the hotel business someday”

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Midwife Training
Midwife capacity building is critical to reducing maternal and infant mortality.

The program is investing in up-skilling new graduates and in expanding our safe delivery program. It aims to build a comprehensive train the trainer
scheme to extend the capacity and quality of midwife services which is urgently needed.

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'I have met many refugees the world over, and the courage of Aminata's personal account as a survivor of unimaginable cruelty is both disturbing and inspiring. Her unwavering belief in human kindness in the face of so much adversity is what makes her a role model for so many women and girls.'

-Louise Aubin, UNHCR Representative

#risingheart #aminatarisingheart #risingheartbook #memoir #refugees #UNHCR


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